Black-headed oriole

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Not to be confused with an alternate name for the dark-throated, western and black-hooded orioles.
Black-headed oriole
Oriolus larvatus.JPG
Song recorded in the Masai Mara Game Reserve, Kenya
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Oriolidae
Genus: Oriolus
Species: O. larvatus
Binomial name
Oriolus larvatus
Lichtenstein, 1823

The black-headed oriole (Oriolus larvatus) is a species of bird in the family Oriolidae. It is found in Africa and has a very striking appearance with a bright yellow body, contrasting black head and flesh-coloured beak.

Taxonomy and systematics[edit]

Some authorities have considered the mountain oriole to be a subspecies of the black-headed oriole. Alternate names for the black-headed oriole include the African black-headed oriole, Eastern black-headed oriole and Eastern oriole.

Subspecies[edit]

Five subspecies are recognized:[2]

  • O. l. rolleti - Salvadori, 1864: Originally described as a separate species. Found from southern Sudan and southern Ethiopia to eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and central Kenya
  • O. l. reichenowi - Zedlitz, 1916: Found from Somalia to eastern Tanzania
  • Kenya black-headed oriole (O. l. angolensis) - Neumann, 1905: Found from Angola and Namibia to western Tanzania and northern Mozambique
  • O. l. tibicen - Lawson, 1962: Found from coastal southern Tanzania to coastal southern Mozambique
  • O. l. larvatus - Lichtenstein, MHK, 1823: Found from southern Zimbabwe to inland southern Mozambique and eastern South Africa

Description[edit]

The black-headed oriole has a bright yellow body, contrasting black head and flesh-coloured beak. The voice is a liquid-sounding warble, accompanied by imitations and whistles.

Distribution and habitat[edit]

It breeds in much of sub-Saharan Africa from South Sudan and Ethiopia in the north to South Africa in the south.

It inhabits dry tropical forests, especially acacia and broad-leaved woodlands, and dense shrubland areas, where it is more often heard than seen despite the brightness of its plumage.

Behaviour and ecology[edit]

The black-headed oriole forages in the canopy, feeding on small fruit as well as large insects. The young are fed mostly with caterpillars.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ BirdLife International (2016). "Oriolus larvatus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016.3. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 28 February 2017. 
  2. ^ "IOC World Bird List 7.1". IOC World Bird List Datasets. doi:10.14344/ioc.ml.7.1. 
  3. ^ "HBW 13 - Family text: Oriolidae (Orioles and Figbirds)". Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. Retrieved 14 September 2016. 

External links[edit]